Thursday, October 8, 2009

Benim adim Steph...

Yup, so my language course kicked off today. I hopped the 7:45 (35...) shuttle no problem with a family friend and with a bit of speed walking, made it right on time for my class at 9am. I was the only American there, though there were two British people. In addition, there were people from: Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Switzerland (I guess? I didn't know until I just translated it now...), Israel, Cyprus (guessing the Greek side, as it is a Turkish class...), Greece, Spain, China, Italy and Syria. Ok, so that's 10 countries for 12 people, and at least three were Greek/Cyprian. Crazy, no?

So, Steph, How did it Go?
Painfully. Lol. The teacher started with introductions, but didn't write down the stages until we passed it. This is unfortunate for visual learners, like myself. I followed to a point, but some of the students have rudimentary Turkish and switched some of the dialog up. So, when it got to me the third time around, I just had to give her a blank face and we stumbled through it. Won't be the last!

We also worked through the alphabet (Alfabe) which was standard. Letter, pronunciation, and then some words. Guess who didn't volunteer any? However, I did recognize a few, and several were identifiable. Other than the easy ones (like "radyo"), I got a kick out of jilet. I was just thinking...hey, that's the razor brand...yes, yes it is. However, as the hours ticked by, I missed a few that people already knew and so the teacher didn't do a thorough job explaining. So, I looked them up tonight. I got a kick out of the fact hastane means either hospital, or butcher. Which, looking at the history of medicine, certainly makes sense. Still, a tad bit gruesome for my taste!

Anyhow, I've decided that the key to learning languages is to be good at charades. Because even if people are frustrated with not being able to get their point across, at least you can have a good laugh doing it! I bumped into a random British girl waiting for my shuttle (she lives on the Asian side- a 1.5 hour trip for her, at least) and it was nice to chat with another au pair. The Brits in my class were nice enough, and we had chatted a bit earlier. It's harder to mingle with such rudimentary language skills. Although English proved to be the common language for the class with the charades/alphabet. I'm salvaging my ego by saying that I could've done a decent job if it would've been German instead. Nyah.

Anyhow, I got home with minimum fuss. There was a bit of confusion on the bus driver's side trying to figure out where I got dropped off, but a nice man helped. I'd brought the address, but apparently the bus driver wasn't exactly sure where it was still. So, one long back up and a few turns later I made it home safely!

Crying Children
I'm definitely not a fan of crying children. K fakes his most of the time, a habit he is sure to grow out of as a boy here, and it's distressing me less as I pick up on clues to whether or not they're real. However, K decided to visit the neighbor girl (his age and schoolmate, they're good friends). E. went to open the gate (it's the other side of the duplex, but they have separate walled gardens), and their big golden retriever came bounding out and took off. The little girl immediately ran after him. Her mother was inside...So I left K with E. and ran after the little girl. By the time I caught up, a block later or so, she'd turned around - dog out of sight. She was sobbing as if her little heart was broken. Her mom met us about halfway home, carrying a leash and not looking concerned. She comforted the girl a little and told her to go home. The girl beckoned K to follow her, and since the mom was gone, I tagged along as well.

The little girl proceeded to quietly sob until her mom came home, rambunctious dog in tow. Her mom (who speaks decent English) explained that last year the dog ran away, but was missing for about 5 days. The little girl thought he might not be found this time. The dog is MUCH bigger than Tekila, probably around 70 pounds. The kids decided to play with a type of jumbo legos and the dog immediately decided to snatch one up. Not knowing the temperament of the dog (with the mom upstairs for something), I was a little hesitant to dig around in his mouth. However, fearing that he'd try to swallow it and painfully convulse, I snapped my fingers and firmly repeated "NO! Hayir" until he finally lost a grip on it. He thought this was GREAT fun, and decided he'd made a new best friend. So when K asked me to hold his tower for him and I sat down, the dog promptly sat on me. If I tried to reach around him, he took that as his cue to cover any possible exposed inch with lots of happy dog kisses and copious amounts of drool. Yum.
Good thing he's a total sweetheart...

Hope all is well,

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